Venue Maps API Developer's Guide

Tiles and Models

The Venue Maps API offers venue maps information in two types: tiles and models. These data have different URLs.


A Tile is a square with a side length of 256 pixels.

The Venue Maps API divides the globe into individual map tiles. At minimum zoom, the world is contained in a single map tile, at the next zoom level up, the world  is two tiles wide and two tiles high. Then 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, up to the maximum zoom for a particular region. Each zoom level splits the tiles in two, doubling the number of tiles across the width and height. This representation is based on the The Mercator Projection.

You can use these tiles to draw venues as a map overlay. A venue overlay consists of image and vector components. Image components are adjacent PNG tiles containing polygons, labels and icons. Vector components are interaction JSON tiles containing a vector representation of the corresponding PNG tile. An interaction tile contains all the polygons that it intersects in a map. You can use image tiles and interaction tiles to build full the venue maps experience.

Figure 1. Relation between Image and Interaction Tiles

This section provides reference to the data tiles returned by Venue Maps API.


A model is a JSON file that contains detailed information about a specific venue. It contains general data such as name and address of the venue, but also structured spacial data such as levels, entrances and connection points between areas.

Models come in two forms: full models and Points of Interest (POI) Models.

  • Full models provide venue information, geometry data, metadata, Points of Interest (POI) data and routing data in JSON format.
  • POI Models provide venue information and Points of Interest (POI) data inside a venue in JSON format.

When to Use Tiles? When to Use Models?

Tiles are recommended to be used when a rendering engine for venues is not available, as tiles provide a complete graphical interactive experience without any underlying requirements. This makes tiles very convenient when you're working on an online solution.

Models are recommended if you're trying to develop a customized user experience with a custom look-and-feel. Models provide complete information about the venue and give you complete control over how venues are rendered and displayed. Models are also ideal when you're working on an offline solution because they provide complete information about the venue in a light-weight JSON format file. In addition, full models provide complete routing information which isn't provided by any other resource.